If you’re like most people, you aren’t eager to spend time thinking about what would happen if you became unable to direct your own medical care because of illness, an accident, or advanced age. However, if you don’t do at least a little bit of planning — writing down your wishes about the kinds of […]
Does the government get your estate if you have no will?
The short answer is “no,” says lawyer Rob Culos. If a person dies without a will, the Court will decide who gets your belongings. However, Rob points out, this can create an unwanted result for many reasons:
- Where there is no will, nobody is named as an executor. The person who becomes responsible for the estate is called the “Administrator.” Family members might disagree as to who should be the Administrator and the result could be unnecessary stress, drama and expense;
- If two people have children together, and one parent dies, most people would prefer that their assets go to the spouse and then to the children only after the second parent dies. This may not be the case if the Courts decide.
- Where a couple have children from a previous relationship, there is no opportunity to balance the interests of the surviving spouse and one’s own children. If you have a will this can noted.
- If you would be inclined to give gifts to your favorite charity, you must either do so while you are alive or write that into your will. If you don’t have a will, there will be no charitable gifts.
Remember, a proper Estate Plan goes beyond the last Will and Testament. You should have a Power of Attorney and a Letter of Wishes. Be sure all beneficiaries of insurance and investments are included in your Will.
Although the government won’t get your estate if you don’t have a will, it will go through the lengthy probate process, and they will probably get more than their fair share, Rob says. All assets that fall into the estate are subject to probate taxes. Not all assets need to fall into the estate – they can go directly to the named beneficiary.
“As a lawyer, I enjoy helping people through the very important (and sometimes very difficult) process of estate administration,” Rob says. “However, I don’t want to be paid as much as (or more than) the beneficiaries. Having a proper Estate Plan is an excellent investment, both in financial terms and for peace of mind.”
Take the 30 Day Challenge: Get your crap together, so your Family won’t have to!
Got the Book?
You have your choice of two options. Yup I’m Dead…Now What? or Yup I’m Dead…Now What? The Deluxe Edition.
What’s the difference? The Deluxe Edition contains the 30 Day Challenge along with additional forms, resources, shortcuts and tips. The regular version refers to the website to download these items.
- Amazon is a tad quicker and convenient (if you have prime). I pretty much order everything from Amazon, so why would I not order my books, as well.
- Barnes & Noble is just B&N (some prefer)
- LuLu Marketplace takes a little longer, but is a few pennies cheaper and offers a convenient coil binding.
Whichever option you choose, you just need to choose one!
This is one of the most important things you can do for your Loved Ones.